Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Furry Friend 1989 ~ 2006

Theme ~ My 50 Years in America 

During our married life of some 26 years, my husband and I have lived with nine dogs, two cats, and two parakeets. Most of them, including one parakeet, were rescued from the streets of Los Angeles. 

While you love them all equally, a few become just so very special. This was the case with a little gray kitten that wandered into our yard one day and was immediately snapped up by Gypsy and Red, our Dobermans. My husband was home, on crutches with an injured leg, but he managed to rescue the kitten. It was so full of fleas that my husband proceeded to almost kill it with an overdose of insecticides. 

The kitten survived the night and we took him to the vet the next morning. He was in a bad shape, maggots were forming, it was that bad. After the vet did what was necessary to try to save him, the kitten was put in an incubator, where he stayed for several days. The vet said, "this kitten has a strong will to live." And live he did for almost 18 years.

We were sailing at the time, so we named him Sindbad, the sailor cat. First thing he did when he came home was to cause Samantha, our other cat, so much upset that she lost all her fur and had to be put on steroids, which made her gain a lot of weight.

It was actually easier to get our Dobermans to accept Sindbad, but after a while Samantha, realizing he wasn't going anywhere, decided to tolerate him. Her fur grew back,  she lost the weight, and Sindbad was now an important  part of our family. And my best furry friend. 

Sindbad soon realized that climbing trees and living on rooftops was far better than staying home on the ground, where had to deal with big dogs and an alpha female cat. As the years went by, more dogs were added to our pack, all of them large, so Sindbad developed a routine where he would climb on the flat roofs of the Spanish style bungalows in our neighborhood and disappear for the day. I have no idea where he went; I suspect he snoozed the day away in some hidden spot. He was usually gone until dinner. 

Bandit and Sindbad

Then I would hear him - "meow, meow" - from far away. He would stop at the end of the neighbor's garage roof, look at the roof of our house, act as if jumping that far would be impossible. Then he would complain loudly until I dropped whatever I was doing inside to come out and encourage him. "Meow, meow," he would say, "I don't think I can do this." "Yes, you can, come on my boy, you can do it!" This  would go on for a while, until he made the big jump, and it was big, but he never missed. 

The sad times came as old age set in. I was the one who was sad; Sindbad took it all in stride. For him, it was just a part of life and you had to make do. First he got stuck in the tree that he always climbed. We heard lots of crying meows and we had to help him get down. He never climbed that tree again. Then he could no longer climb from the truck to the garage roof. He got stuck and couldn't get his hind legs up. But with a lot of grace and dignity, once he realized that he could no longer do something, he just stopped. He spent a lot of his old age in our garden, usually under cover of a car or a bush. Then he moved into the house and loved to sleep the day away in a sunny spot. He was content, my sweet cat.

He died here, five months after we moved to the canyon. We buried his ashes in our yard, together with those of a couple of his dog friends. Throughout his long life, old dogs would pass away, new dogs would arrive, and Sindbad took it all in stride. He got along with everyone and was very special, both to us and our dogs. Sindbad truly was one of the great loves of my life. 

Angel and Sindbad


  1. What a cutie he was. Cats are just the best.

  2. Sindbad was a beauty. It's so sad when pets die. I don't know why I rescued the old cat in my header but I did and now I'll cry when she goes. Ain't fair.

  3. What an amazing cat. I adore cats; my first, Jessica, was given to me for my 6th birthday by my Mum.

    My Dad despised cats, so my Mum and older brother organised this secretly and, once I had her, my Dad couldn't possibly take her away.

    And although he denied it, we all heard him chatting away to her in the evenings.

    She was the most gentle cat ever, putting up with the arrival of a new baby with a grace and patience I've never known in another cat.

  4. they stay in our hearts forever. what a dear, dear cat!

  5. beautiful story, sinbad was blessed that it was you that found him. in our 28 years we have had 4 dogs, the first one Max, for 16 years, we could only have him, he allowed no one in the house including dogs and strangers, only our kids. i love that last photo of angel and sinbad.
    taking the week end off, no post until monday.

  6. Sinbad reminds me of a cat I rescued long ago, who became my best buddy too. (She was all black including her nose, only her green eyes stood out.) She just wandered up to the house and stayed, when I took her in.

    A great story, Inger.

  7. He was a gorgeous cat.We had one quite like him who lived to be 17yrs his best friend was my mixed breed dog and he even came with us when we went for our daily walk.Pets give us wonderful memories.
    Anne/Is Anyone There

  8. I love the way his foot is turned out in that photo. He's a lovely boy.
    I recently lost my 18 yr old orange tabby, Miles. Cats are amazing creatures , aren't they? Especially when they get that old.

  9. I enjoyed reading about Sindbad. His story reminded me of some of my long gone kitties. I love how he evidently talked to you and enlisted your help! What a beautiful guy!

  10. when i was a young girl in my 20's, I never truly realized how we were going to outlive the lifespan of our pets - your post here captures that emotion of it perfectly.

    I have howie, my one eared tomcat, Sasha, my little malamute to count amoung my animal lifetime friends - i bet they are having a good time with Sinbad & Soldier somewhere! :)

  11. Sindbad was a pretty stubborn cat to have survived for so long. If only he could have blogged out his adventures.

  12. Ah, Sinbad sounds like a wonderful fellow. Thanks for sharing!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  13. Hi Inger,

    I am reading backwards trying to catch up. Beautiful pets you've had. Very nice pictures.
    Hope you're having a nice weekend.


  14. Oh, well now, you didn't tell me I needed a tissue before reading this. It's beautiful. I'm a pet mommy, too.

  15. Sinbad, not bad for a cat. I'm sure you loved him dearly. I'm glad the dogs could tolerate him. But I can understand his desire to spend the day away from them.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

  16. What a handsome fellow he was. Cats have such long lives that they really become part of ours. He sure was lucky the day he found you. After being chewed on that is. That must have been some vet bill.
    I lost Mickey this year after 17 years together.

  17. Oh Inger, this was such a sweet tribute to Sinbad. He sounded like a great companion.
    Isn't it great when we bond with that certain animal who is very special.
    We've had three cats Kitty, Polo and Rita and they each bring back so many happy times.
    Thanks for this, it was nice to read.

  18. I am a cat person through and through

    Lovely tribute to your fine old friend.

  19. Oh Inger, I loved this post! What a unique and special cat Sinbad was! I don't know if I've ever told you, but cats were my first love and like you I have been so lucky to share my life with very unique and tolerant ones!

  20. Aw, what a special guy. Great tribute! Sounds like he picked a good home to show up at as a sick kitten.

  21. Sinbad was SinGood at heart for everyone!!

    Lovely story, INger!


  22. Inger, I just recently lost my little cat, Daisy. I adopted her from PETCO when she was about a year old and she lived with us for 15 years. She was my "hunter-killer" and kept our yard free of mice, rats, gophers, and any other living thing! She just withered away and I found her dead one afternoon. I miss my "Miss Daisy" girl!

  23. What a beautiful cat and an equally beautiful tribute. I almost had tears in my eyes reading this. It's so true that some animals really work their way into our hearts.

  24. Oh my gosh this was a great loving story until the end - I was so sad. But you did have a lot of years with him. Sandie

  25. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful cat! And that his name was Sinbad. I can tell from teh pictures that he was a spirit cat for sure.

  26. Thank you for being a rescuer.


  27. Wonderful, wonderful - you tell it all so well -
    I often thing the animals save us . .
    I would like to think I'll be able to handle my own challenges as well as your beautiful sailor cat.
    love & love,

  28. It's sweet the way the entire family (including the dogs) all welcomed this little kitty into the family.

  29. I'm not a cat person but noone can fail to be moved by Sinbad's story.
    Dogs are what interests me.

  30. He looks a lot like our Charlie cat. He was beautiful. Your post made me cry.

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

  31. Verkar varit en speciell katt. Så fint att ni kunde rädda honom. Sista bilden är för söt .

    Kram från oss!!

  32. What a lovely cat. Some special animals really do become family.

  33. This is the sweetest post. It nearly made me cry thinking of my own special cat, Chloe that I had to bottle feed from day one. I suspect she never knew she was a cat because she opened her eyes to humans and a tiny bottle.


  34. That's a heckuva run for a cat!

    All of my pets as an adult have been shelter cats, and two, in particular, had personalities that made the attachment stronger.

    When they died, I reminded myself how much better off their life was than when I'd found them.

    But it's always sad.

  35. What a special boy!

    Jean from Rantings and Ravings of an Insane Writer (

  36. What a tough start to life...
    Love your picture/theme on the blog. It's gorgeous. Deserts can be so pretty.


  37. I think there is something special about a rescue who is so well loved and taken care of. They know they have been chosen and somehow they can give the best love in return! What a beautiful kitty friend. :-)

  38. What a handsome boy. And how lucky he was to wander in your garden... well, except for the welcoming party. It is obvious from how you wrote about him that he stole a piece of your heart.

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  40. We had several great cats when I was a kid, but I have since developed an allergy to them. So, no more cats.

    Dropping by from A to Z. First year participating.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

  41. Hi Inger .. how lovely to read about Sinbad the sailor - he sure does sound like an adventuresome cat with a mind of his own .. loved the read!

    Cheers Hilary

  42. Thank you for sharing that story. It's amazing how much pets can influence our lives. Sinbad sounds like he was a really special cat (plus I love the name).

  43. Love this post, and look at all the lovely comments on it. No wonder you liked Millie's story of being a dog whisperer and wanting to save all those sweet animals. You have a kind heart.

  44. I love the name Sinbad. Those darn animals sure do have an impact on our lives but I would want to live with them!

  45. Sinbad sounds alot like my Maggie. She's been with me for 16 years now and has seen it all. She deals with every crazy thing I do and takes it in stride. :)


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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